- Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016
- LOS ANGELES
Director Chris Applebaum has joined FANCY Content, the L.A.-based production company headed by founder/EP Robert Wherry. FANCY will handle Applebaum for commercials and long-form advertising projects. Previously Applebaum was with Wondros and, before that, with HSI and Believe Media.
Applebaum is known for his sexy, playful and fashion-focused work for brands such as Clairol, Sketchers, Candies, Head and Shoulders (with Sofia Vergara), John Frieda, Hugo Boss and Old Spice. And he’s no stranger to generating headlines: his ongoing campaign for Carl’s Jr. has consistently propelled his work to the upper ranks of social media and brand awareness. From a Paris Hilton heart-stopper of an ad, in which the reality TV star posed seductively with a hot car and an even hotter Carl’s Jr. sandwich, Applebaum has gone on to direct spots for the brand featuring Nina Agdal, Kate Upton, Heidi Klum, Ronda Rousey, Padma Lakshmi, Evander Holyfield and other celebs and supermodels. The director’s most recent Carl’s Jr. ad featured renowned L.A. chef Michael Voltaggio.
Applebaum’s music videos are as varied and talked-about as his ads. They include clips for Usher, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. He directed the iconic “Stacy’s Mom” for Fountains of Wayne, as well as “Umbrella” (featuring Jay Z) for Rihanna, which won Music Video of the Year honors at the VMA’s. Applebaum’s “Closing Time” for Semisonic was the first video ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All told, Applebaum’s work with artists has generated dozens of number one rankings on MTV and assorted MVPA, Billboard and VMA nominations. (Production house London Alley handles Applebaum for music videos.)
“Chris is more than just a director, he’s a tastemaker,” said Wherry. “His work easily crosses over into the pop culture mainstream and becomes the kind of things people can’t help but share. You can tell from his Instagram account, where he’s got almost fifty thousand followers. Brands and artists are drawn to his vision.”
Applebaum related, “I’ve been directing for a long time, and I’m still totally locked in. I started so young that I see myself as this seasoned veteran, one who’s happened to do work that people are so familiar with it’s become part of their lives. I remember when they got Osama bin Laden, people were posting comments on the YouTube page for Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party in the USA’ video to show how they felt. Having something you directed make that kind of impact on people is what I love most about the work I do.”
A preternaturally experienced filmmaker, Applebaum grew up in Hollywood, the child of a classically trained musician who played on sessions with everyone from Nancy Sinatra to The Turtles. Heading east after high school, he studied film at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he got tuned in to the local music scene. That’s when he was asked by a local band to produce their video, since he was the only person in their entourage who knew anything about production.
The clip ended up on MTV and generated a phone call from the network’s offices in New York, offering Applebaum a summer internship that eventually turned into a full-time gig in the network’s legendary on-air promo department. From there he launched his directorial career with Satellite Films in the early ‘90s, at the tender age of 22.
At FANCY, Applebaum joins a directorial roster that includes Ed McCulloch, John Mastromonaco, Chris Shimojima, Rob Sanders, Rad-Ish, Paul Laufer and Sebastian Weiland.